When the New York Giants hired Dave Gettleman as their new general manager on Thursday, it shouldn’t have been a huge surprise.
Gettleman had a long relationship with the Giants before he left to run the Panthers’ front office. He was with the Giants from 1998-2012, moving from scout to pro personnel director to senior pro personnel analyst. He left to become the Panthers GM, was fired just before this season started. The Giants parted ways with GM Jerry Reese near the end of the season. It seemed like a perfect fit between the Giants and Gettleman.
Gettleman did rebuild the Panthers, navigating through some awful contracts in his first few seasons to eventually put together a roster that went 15-1 in 2015 and made the Super Bowl. Gettleman wasn’t always popular with players — Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams and Josh Norman took shots at him after he was fired, though all three harbored some bitterness over being cut — but it was still a shock when Gettleman was fired by the Panthers in July. When you look at the standings and see the Panthers at 11-4 with a roster Gettleman almost entirely put together, it’s easy to see why the Giants would settle on him as their new GM.
“Given where we are as a team, we thought it was important to bring in someone with experience as a General Manager and a proven track record,” Giants president John Mara and chairman Steve Tisch said in a statement. “Dave’s experience is unparalleled. He did an outstanding job as general manager in Carolina, and he was vital to our success during his tenure here. Dave is going to bring his own approach to our organization in how we draft and acquire players through free agency.”
Gettleman was one of four candidates who interviewed with the team. The others were interim general manager Kevin Abrams, Giants VP of player evaluation Marc Ross and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick.
Unlike other teams who will be looking for a new GM or coach, the Giants actually have some solid pieces. Players like Odell Beckham, Jason Pierre-Paul, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Landon Collins for a pretty solid core. Gettleman will have to figure out the quarterback situation, but if he moves on from Eli Manning, the Giants will have the second or third pick of next spring’s draft to reload at the position. Despite the Giants’ miserable record, this situation doesn’t seem nearly as dire as the one he took over in Carolina, and he did a great job there. His first job will be to identify who will replace Ben McAdoo as the team’s head coach.
The Giants have had only three general managers since the late 1970s, and they hired a familiar face to be their fourth. That might turn out to be a smart call.
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